29 March 2014, Dharla, Chukha: Hon’ble Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji, Minister for Agriculture and Forests interacted with the Training of Trainers (ToT) participants of Vegetable Go To School (VeGoTs) Project conducted at RNR RDC Dharla Chukha on 29 March 2014. The ToT workshop and project orientation for 19 school teachers from western and southern Dzongkhags who were identified as the pilot schools for VeGoTs programme implemented by the School Agriculture Programme (SAP). The 3 year project is funded by the Asian Vegetable Research and Development Centre (AVRDC) through SDC funding. The project is multidisciplinary in nature, a joint collaboration of three Ministries- Agriculture and Forests (MoAF), Health (MoH) and Education (MoE), more specifically, the Department of School Education, the Royal Institute of Health Sciences, and the Department of Agriculture led by CoRRB, MoAF.
During the interaction with the participants, Lyonpo stressed the importance of agriculture education among the school youth for food and nutrition security through farming activities in schools. He said that besides vegetable gardening, schools should also think of livestock activities, especially poultry rearing for eggs production.
Improving the nutritional status of school children is top priority for the government and every effort will be made from the Agriculture and Forest Ministry (MoAF) to combat the hidden hunger among school children. Schools are encouraged to start poultry rearing to produce sufficient quantities of eggs to be fed to students. Efforts should be made to provide 3 eggs to each student per week that is fed at every alternate days, so as to improve the nutritional health of school going children. Lyonpo also suggested that the School Agriculture programme should be renamed as School Agriculture and Nutrition Programme (SANAP) to focus on nutrition through farming. Students in non-feeding schools should involve parents to rear at least 3 chickens to provide eggs to their children. MoAF commits to provide pullets free of cost starting from the poverty sicken Dzongkhags namely Samtse, Pemagatshel, Zhemgang and Lhuentse.
Lyonpo also informed that the schools should make use of the technical expertise of the gewog RNR staff for School Agriculture activities in their respective gewogs.
– Reported by B.B Rai , SAP, CoRRB
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